If Nothing Else, Remember This....

Biggest Misconception – Millennials Only Want to Rent

Despite what you may have heard, millennials made up 50% of home transactions in 2016, and that number will likely grow in 2017 as they become older, enjoy more job security and experience life changes. In fact, a 2014 survey by Fannie Mae found 49% of millennials expected their next move would be buying a home – that was almost three years ago, hence why we're seeing them purchase now.

Hot 'Hoods

There's no denying city living is on the rise – this is a reversal of a trend over the last 15 years. But it's not just millennials drawn to the city's vibrancy; corporations like McDonald's and ConAgra are relocating closer to the urban core and its younger workforce. Most city neighborhoods, especially those near public transit, will do well next year. And look for first-time homebuyers in search of a lower house price to move out of more traditional communities to areas they might never have looked before – Pilsen, Logan Square, Ukrainian Village, South Loop, and West Loop should see healthy activity in 2017.

Suburban Countertrend

But not everyone is migrating to the city. Suburbs that offer a downtown core of restaurants and retail centered around a train station will continue to thrive. We're already seeing new-construction townhomes and condos pop up near suburban downtowns like Highland Park, Deerfield, Arlington Heights, Glen Ellyn, and Wheaton. In those areas, downsizing housing stock is in short supply, yet there is a strong demand from people who don't want to leave their community but want to be able to walk to everything.

Will New Technologies Change How I Buy or Sell a Home in 2017?

Most people will agree technology has revolutionized real estate, but almost to a point where it's an overload of information. There are so many apps available, but they only make sense if they make the transaction process easier for you. For example, using QR codes to market a home seems to have lost some of its effectiveness, while including floor plans in a listing is gaining in popularity, as are 3D views of a residence, so you can virtually “walk” through and experience the home as if you were actually there.

If Nothing Else, Remember This

On the whole, 2017 should be another solid year for real estate, similar to 2016. We'll continue to have more demand than we can meet for affordable housing, but as unemployment remains low, interest rates stay relatively unchanged and the general economy continues to do well, people will feel more confident about their life and their buying decisions – including homeownership.

So as we get ready to close the chapter on 2016 and embrace everything 2017 has in store for us, I have one last insight. When it comes to real estate, it all comes back to the fundamentals – if you price your property well, it will sell; if you don't, it won't sell no matter how much marketing you put behind it. So work with your local agent to analyze the market and price it right to give yourself the best chance for success.